Like any couple that’s been together a while, my wife and I have a large vocabulary of stock jokes and catchphrases that we use semi-ironically whenever we’re recounting a recent experience that fits a familiar pattern. One of my favorites is: “The Internet Rules!” used triumphantly (usually by me) whenever we use the Web to solve a problem or discover a shortcut to some useful bit of knowledge that might once have been hard to find.
As just one example, a while back I was tipped off by a fellow runner to a site called MapMyRun. It’s since gotten fancier, but at the time it was a pretty basic Google Maps mashup that made it easy to trace a familiar running route to get exact distance calcuations. Since most of my favorite runs include stretches of trail, park or bike path, I never had a reliable way of figuring out what their total distance was (which in turn made it hard to accurately calculate pace). MapMyRun made this previously frustrating (to me) data gap trivially easy to close.
I just got back from a midday run on one of my favorite routes (an urgent priority after a recent chest cold plus Thanksgiving excesses of food, drink and freeway driving). Thanks to MapMyRun, I can tell you that I ran 7.13 miles (give or take a bend in the trail) in a little under an hour. If you want to take a closer look at my route, just check out the map below. The Internet Rules!